The B-117 variant of the coronavirus was detected in two people from Anne Arundel County.

The rapidly spreading variant of coronavirus has found its way to Maryland. While holding a press conference on a new Maryland Redistricting Commission, Governor Larry Hogan said he had just been notified about the appearance of the B-117 strain in a couple from Anne Arundel County. The man had recently returned from traveling in Europe and apparently spread the virus to his wife. They're both under the age of 65 and currently in isolation.

The emergence of this highly contagious strain of the coronavirus reinforces the need for residents to do everything they can to prevent the spread of this deadly disease.

“Our state health officials are closely monitoring the emergence of the B-117 strain of SARS-CoV-2 in the state,” said Governor Hogan. “We encourage Marylanders to practice caution to limit the additional risk of transmission associated with this strain. It is critically important that we all continue to follow standard public health and safety measures, including mask-wearing, regular hand washing, and social distancing.”

Map of U.K. Variant
CDC map of B-117 variant as of January 12, 2021.

The B-117 strip first appeared in the U.K. and has spread to other countries and states in the U.S. The new variant has been found in 10 states and was first discovered in Colorado. Health officials say this strain does not increase the risk of death or cause more severe illness than any other variant. Researchers do believe the B-117 strain spreads more easily than other variants of SARS-CoV-2.

State officials have begun an extensive contract tracing operation for these two cases and are doing everything they can to prevent it from spreading further. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC warns the prevalence of the B-117 variant could be more widespread than data shows. To help keep yourself from potentially catching any variant of the SARS-CoV-2. virus, you should wash your hands, wear a mask, and practice social distancing.

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